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George Washington letter to the Rhode Island Legislature, 1790

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George Washington letter to the Rhode Island Legislature, 1790



Rhode Island State Archives


1790 November 20


Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.





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To the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island, and
Providence Plantations


While I acknowledge, with grateful sincerity, my
personal obligations to the Legislature of the State of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, for the very flattering
manner in which they convey their congratulations on my
election to the chief magistracy of our confederated republic,
and for the approbation they are pleased to express of my
public conduct - it affords me peculiar pleasure to observe
that the completion of our union, by the accession of your State,
gives a strong assurance of permanent political happiness to
the people of America.
A change in the national constitution, con-
formed to experience and the circumstances of our country,
has been most happily effected by the influence of reason alone.
In this change the liberty of the citizen continues unim-
paired, while the energy of government is so encreased
as to promise full protection to all the pursuits of science
and industry - together with the firm establishment of
public credit, and the vindication of our national character.
It remains with the people themselves to preserve
and promote the great advantages of their political and
natural situation - nor ought a doubt to be entertained
that men, who so well understand the value of social
happiness, will ever cease to appreciate the blessings
of a free, equal, and efficient government.
In expressing my sensibility for the interest

you take in the restoration of my health, I recall
with pleasure, the remembrance of those civilities
which I experienced in my late visit to your State.
My best wishes are offered, Gentlemen,
for the prosperity of your constituents, and for your
individual happiness.

G Washington


Washington, George, 1732-1799, "George Washington letter to the Rhode Island Legislature, 1790," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #304, http://sos.ri.gov/virtualarchives/items/show/304 (accessed November 27, 2015).